Picture postcard islands, breathtaking beaches, stunning rock formations and tranquil turquoise waters teeming with colorful marine life makes Phi Phi Islands a must visit for any traveler. Phi Phi Islands are a group of six islands and the main two are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands of the world and can be accessed by a 45-minute ride from both Phuket and Krabi on a speedboat.
Phi Phi Ley hosts the stunning Maya Beach which was featured in the Hollywood movie, ‘The Beach‘ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The vivid turquoise waters will take your breath away. Even though it is jam-packed with tourists, it shouldn’t let it affect you. The island is incredible and it is a must-see at least once in your lifetime. Many beaches here are accessible only by walk.
Island Hopping in Phi Phi Islands
We had opted for another Island hopping tour to Phi Phi Islands after our James Bond Island tour. But, this was the best. Our first stop was at the Monkey Beach. We were warned not to get off the boat as the animals are quite ruthless in snatching your valuables and food away. That said, we couldn’t spot more than three monkeys there. We were also told that there is a Monkey Island and that we will not be heading there. Alas!
We then headed to the Pileh Lagoon were the husband went for snorkeling. No, I was scared to death and for someone who cannot swim, I don’t have the courage to go for it even when I was offered a life jacket, snorkeling kit and fins (on additional payment). To my relief, there were many who chose to stay back on the boat. While the crew put on some great music, I did want to shake a leg! Alas! The boat was already swaying on the sea badly.
I didn’t have to feel real bad about this missed chance of snorkeling because we were to head to another snorkeling spot by the end of the tour. The husband had a great time getting to see a sea of colorful fishes and marine life. Pileh lagoon is one of the most preferred spots by tourists for snorkeling.
Tired and exhausted (I was too! It was so hot and humid!), we headed for lunch at a beachside restaurant on Phi Phi Don Island, the Tonsai Bay.
The sumptuous spread of food was everything we had hoped for! Delicious and Mouthwatering! The spread had everything from seafood soup, to chicken drumsticks, steamed rice, Yellow curry, Thai Papaya salad, desserts, fruits and fruit juices. We finished our lunch to head out to the shore and click those amazing view that was unveiled in front of our eyes.
The boat took us to the breathtaking Viking Cave next. It is said that Viking Cave owes its name to the paintings found inside it. Once home to pirates and sailors taking shelter in the cave during a storm, these were indeed magnificent. Legend says that the cave was then home to many swiftlet birds. These sailors who got stuck without food could survive by eating their nests and gave them enough power to wait for rescue.
It is now the most profitable local industries: the hunting/harvesting of swiftlet birds’ nests. These edible nests are believed to promote good health.
It was then that we headed to Maya Bay. It was a stunning sight to see the three different colors of the ocean and Boy, I will visit here, just to see it again.
The photographs do not do justice and with too many tourists, it takes away that feel of privacy and intimacy. On any given day and time, there are at least 30+ speedboats, longtail boats, and ferries on the beach, transporting hundreds of tourists who want to revel in its beauty.
So, you know what I mean!
Maya Bay is breathtakingly beautiful as it is sheltered by 100-metre high limestone cliffs on all the three sides. Inside the bay are several beaches including Loh Samah Bay which can be accessed by a 100-meter walk.
And the walk is so serene and wow!
I would definitely recommend heading out to Loh Samah Bay because it is so much less crowded and the view is even more spectacular.
You can climb down the ladders or jump right into the blue waters. The entry fee for this National Park is 400 Baht/pax if you enter the bay on your own. But it is included if you are opting for an island tour. We then visited the Khai Island where all we did was relax on the white sandy beach.
Khai Island and ticking off from my Bucket List
It was here that I ticked off yet another thing from my bucket list – Snorkelling! As I walked from the shore to the middle of the ocean (well, not middle ‘middle’), bypassing the thorny corals and hard rocks, I found myself cursing and begging my husband to just let it be. The corals are brutal and you need to watch every step you take on the reef. But it was all worth it!
When he demonstrated and instructed me on what to do, I patiently listened to him (for once!) and did as commanded. I was on cloud nine (even though in deep sea)! Though the marine life wasn’t extraordinary, it was good enough for a first-timer like me. As luck would have it, a few of the snorkellers beside me had few slices of bread. While they tossed it on the sea, a group of hungry fishes gathered around to devour the food. I found myself jumping with joy (forget the brutal reef!) and clapping hands like a six-year-old. Gosh, it was truly magical! All thanks to my husband who was patient but firm in his decision of dragging me to the sea for snorkeling, even though I was throwing tantrums!
What to know of an Island Tour
Remember the packing list I had shared with you before? Do not, for the love of God forget your Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Hat, Camera, Beach towel, Swimwear and some Thai Baht when you head out for an Island Tour. Pregnant ladies and children below 1 year old are not allowed on speedboats. You can never predict the tides. Also, be wary of the time. The tour will ask you to get back to the boats after a specific duration. Do it! If not, they will leave you stranded on the island. Well, that do seem like an interesting idea though!
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STAY TUNED AS I WILL BE TALKING IN DETAIL ABOUT SOME OF THE EXOTIC ISLANDS AND SHOPPING, AND OTHER ATTRACTIONS THAILAND HAS TO OFFER.
I am writing all about Thailand this April for the A to Z Challenge 2017. Thanks for all the love you’ve showered on this space! You can also check out my food blog for A to Z Indian Dishes to Die For.